Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Organic Farming

Farmer plowing in Fahrenwalde, Mecklenburg-Vor...Image via Wikipedia
by Teresa Carr

Organic produce and products are getting a bad rap these days. There are claims that a scam about how would one know if producers are milking the consumer price wise by preying on the health of the consumer besides their purse strings. The best way to avoid this is to do research on some of the companies and weed out the good from the bad. The definition of “Organic” is any plant and animal produces that are grown or raised without the conventional pesticides, chemicals, petroleum-based or sewer-sledge based fertilizers, bioengineering or ionization radiation. The main focus of organic farming is the practice of building healthy soils and utilizes organic fruits and vegetables and livestock that have been grown and raised on land clean of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for at least 36 months. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that ate given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Before a product is labels “organic,” the government approved certifying agency inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following the regulations needs to meet the USDA standards. Companies that handle and process food before it reaches the grocery store must be certified. If a USDA Organic label is placed on produce without certification it is an illegal federal offense. The certification assures that a product has been grown and handles according to strict regulations set by the Department of Agriculture that guarantees its safety. Organic food produced by farmers who develop and utilize renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for the future. Organic foods are basically processed without artifical ingredients, preservatives or irradiation to maintain the integrity of the food.

Organic Farming has become a science than conventional farming. This system of knowledge covers general truths and operates general laws tested through scientific method. Researchers have tested organic methods through controlled experiments, and have been scientifically proven. Through a few decades organic farming research has be managed by private groups. Many universities have taken up investigation of biodiversity, plant and soil nutrition, planting and tillage timing, cover crops, biological pest control, manure and compost use, mulching, and numerous categories. The Organic Research Farming Project at West Virginia University, which was, began in 1998 conducted research and education to help organic growers to develop techniques in successful organic farming and gardening. If you like to know more about the project click the WVU website and go to organic section. Other universities that have similar programs include Cornell University in New York, The Leopold Center at Iowa State University, and Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.

For more information on organic research visit these websites:
West Virginia SARE funding and research, or e-mail, Tom McConnell, WVU Extension specialist, phone: 304.293.6131 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              304.293.6131      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, ext. 4237

2008. Teresa Carr. Almost Midnight Communication.
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